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eligible voters in the rio grande valley in texas. some of the people were understandably wary of a blonde girl from chicago who do not speak a word of spanish, or texan for that matter. [laughter] but the law belonged to them as much as to me. they wanted to vote. we have made real progress since those days. but we still have deep flaws in our electoral system. between one quarter and a third of all eligible americans remain unregistered and therefore unable to participate. compare that to canada, our neighbor, where most citizens are registered automatically to vote when they turn 18. i held a forum in cleveland after the 2004 election with my friend, the late congresswoman stephanie jones. there were reports of african- americans waiting in line to vote for 10 hours while whites in affluent precincts next-door waited 10 minutes. african-americans received flyers telling them the wrong times and days to vote. students from kenyon college old -- told they had to wait half a day to cast their votes. they were registered. they were eager to vote. the machines were allocated in a way that en
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